John Stossel

Consider the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif. It was once a failing school, but now it's one of the best in California. Ben Chavis turned it around without any additional money. His book, "Crazy Like a Fox," tells how.

He and Coulson will be guests on my FBN show tomorrow.

Chavis' experience exposes the school establishment's lies for what they are. Nearly all of Chavis' students are considered economically disadvantaged (98 percent qualify for free lunches), yet they have the fourth-highest test scores of any school in the state.

"In Oakland this year, on the AP (advanced placement) exam, we had 100 percent of all the blacks and Mexicans in the city of Oakland who passed AP calculus," Chavis said. "There are four high schools, and we're the only ones who had anyone pass AP calc."

Yet Chavis accomplishes this without the "certified" teachers so revered by the educational establishment. His classes are as big as, and sometimes bigger than, public school classes, but only a quarter of his teachers are certified by the state.

Money, he insists, is not the answer. "My buildings are shacks compared to their schools, but my schools are clean, and we'll kick all their asses."

He scoffs at the establishment's solutions to the education problem, such as teacher evaluations.

"I don't do no teacher evaluations. All I do is go into a class, and if the kids ain't working, your ass is fired. (Most principals) sit for hours and say, 'Is he meeting this goal, is he meeting' -- I just go to class, and if the kids are not working ..."

It's time we threw out the "experts" and exposed the schools to real competition by people with common sense.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate